Interac Wearing, Research and creation residency

Experientiae Electriciae, by the way of the artist Natacha Roussel, isin residency at SAT for one week to envision and to develop around their project Interac Wearing.

« Interac Wearing », introduction

This November, Experientiae Electricae’s Natacha Roussel will engage in a week-long
creation residency at the SAT in order to discuss developments related to the Interac Wearing project.

A multi-user experience that will test ten sensory locative communicant garments.

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Photo, Natacha Roussel, 2009

As a multi-professional/digital creation collective, Experientiae electricae is involved in parallel and complementary artistic developments in both the electronics and design domains. Our minimalist aesthetic is a result of the various elements that we manipulate
in order to develop connectivity.
Experientiae electricae integrates the technologies that have been made accessible in our
era of miniaturization/globalization to render critical and artistic works.

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Photo, Natacha Roussel, 2009

Since 2003, Experientiae electricae has conceived various immersive artworks that
examine the relationships between individuals and groups in space. For us, new medias are tools for sensory explorations that enable data capture and the re-visualization of data produced by human physical activity. This process allows us to map energetic,
interpersonal, intimate, and social rapports.

Work Method

According to its structure, Experientiae electricae develops its own technologies with the intent of critically appropriating a variety of communication mediums. Artists often depend on institutional partnerships to develop works in residencies with Nokia or Orange. For media artists, this is a constant source of conflict and contemplation in terms of both the accessibility of such partnerships as well as creative freedom in general.

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Photo, Natacha Roussel, 2009

Faced with this challenge, Experientiae electricae took into account several recent technological evolutions such as the accessibility to individuals, low-cost components, the creation of commercial networks in Asia, and online technical support. These various industry advancements have allowed us to develop our own technologies in accordance with our personal goals.

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Photo, Natacha Roussel, 2009

Experientiae electricae considers all of its work to be collective since technological development and appropriation are integral parts of the content. Our position is founded on both the nature of the new medias that we re-direct and the ownership of our works.

Because of their versatility and high user fees, open systems are inefficient for specific and organized applications and cannot be implemented on a large scale. Experientiae electricae therefore prefers to develop its own independent systems.

Integrating research elements on all levels, it consists of a multiple device that is at once haptic, urban, communicative, and above all, sonorous.

Experientiae Electricae has decided against presenting One’s Walk in multiple locales and communicants (radio). Instead, we propose that this work be a participative, explorative, and urban activity. The public is invited to wear the augmented clothing and to walk within a defined urban perimeter. The garments capture the participant’s walking rhythm along with other bodily rhythms, all of which are directly retransmitted to the wearer. The sensory costumes equally receive sounds derived from the presence of other users, thereby producing a sonority that gradually evolves according to their encounters.

This communicative clothing was conceived as a locative and proprioception tool. These costumes transmit locative data via a radio system that uses each garment as an intermediary in order to communicate data to a base located at the exhibition site.

This data is then reinterpreted based on its localisation, its rhythmic parameters, and the interaction with other users in order to produce a sound and visual map of the group’s urban activity. In addition to being unique artistic objects in their own right, these communicative garments are also capable of creating a city-scale, multimedia environment based on collective and environmental interactions when networked. This portrait is localised yet always exists according to the flux of corporeal rhythms. These sound maps precisely transcribe our interferences, fragilities, and the ephemeral imagery of our biological beings.

The clothing can communicate on three different levels :
– by producing rhythmic and sensory feedback to a user;
– by exchanging user data during group interaction (for this application, we have developed game-like principles. These principles were presented during the Homo Ludens exhibition conference in Laboral (Gijon, Spain) in April 2008.);
– and by combining the first two applications to produce a city-based network that emits a wave of rhythm. This wave can then be retransmitted in the form of a multi-channel and rhythmic sound exhibition that is accompanied by a visual map of the total experience.

This last application therefore outlines three levels of signification: that of the individual wearing the augmented clothing, that of the group exchanging and observing collective data within an urban space, and finally, that of the spectator who is perceiving the collective sound and visual map—the rhythmic portrait of the group.

The SAT Residency

During the SAT residency, our objectives are to bring awareness to Interac Wearing and to consult with audio and video specialists in order to explore the possibility of producing an immersive version of this project for the SAT[osphère] environment.

First on our agenda is meeting with Zack Settel, a 3D audio specialist known for his
collaborative work with Mike Woznienski on the “SoundScape” system. Natacha is interested in finding out if her theories regarding audio processing are valid and is intent on exploring other possible interactions and interfaces according to Zack’s assessment.
Our prior developments in 3D diffusion and audio networking for this project will be taken into consideration.

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The inaugural presentation of this project will take place during the Futur en Seine
festival. (Photo : Natacha Roussel, Place de la Bastille, Paris, 2009)

A second consultation is scheduled with Louis-Philippe Saint-Arnaud, project manager and development coordinator of the SAT Labodôme. The aim of this meeting is to introduce Natacha to the SAT[osphère] and Labodôme environments and to initiate her to the various production aspects of these mediums.

These consultations and exchanges with SAT specialists will allow us to verify our
hypotheses regarding project development within these immersive environments. Once
the discussions take place, plans for Natacha and her team to take residency during the 2010/2011 season to create an immersive version of their project can move forward.

Lastly, Natacha will conduct an informal presentation of Interac Wearing for the SAT team on the last day of her micro-residency.

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